"Second Step taught us to be nice, instead of yelling at people." "I learned how to be a good friend and a lot of stuff." "The most fun was seeing the puppets, snail and puppy." These are just some of the responses Second Step coordinator Liz Griswold has received when she asks Livingston County kindergartners what they think of the Second Step, a violence prevention curriculum implemented in many area schools. Feedback from teachers includes: "This is an easy program to use in the classroom" "I like the pictures/stories which provide a common background situation to problem solve from." "Second Step has simplified my discipline, because the children use the skills, with or without prompting, so the problems stay small."
The Genesee Valley Health Partnership has provided the Second Step violence prevention curriculum since 2001 within Livingston County School Districts.
The goal of Second Step is to build problem solving and social skills. Children who learn and use the skills presented in Second Step are more likely to get along with others and do well in school. "Research shows that aggressive behavior in children predicts risk of later delinquency, substance abuse, school dropout, early parenthood, and depression," says Liz Griswold, Second Step coordinator. "Classroom use of the Second Step program helps provide children with the skills they need to create safe environments and become successful adults."
The lessons in the program are divided into three areas:
Empathy Training - Students learn how to identify feelings, interpret how others feel and show others they care.
Problem Solving -Students learn to control impulses, use basic social skills and negotiate with others.
Anger Management - Students learn to calm themselves, evaluate their actions and think positively.
Puppets called "Impulsive Puppy" and "Slow-Down Snail" are used with Pre-K and Kindergartners to help students learn how to model behaviors and strategies. A parent education component will also eventually be implemented, so parents can learn the Second Step skills to reinforce at home what their child has learned at school.
If you are interested in bringing Second Step to your community, please contact Liz Griswold at (585) 615-4381.
Violence Prevention Programs
The Genesee Valley Health Department has developed a Keeping Youth Healthy Resource Guide, a database of Livingston County programs targeted at youth in Kindergarten through twelfth grades. Programs cover a wide variety topics, including violence prevention.
Click here to view the Keeping Youth Healthy Resource Guide
Violence Prevention Developer (Second Step Program)